Pent Valley student speaks: Save our school

Pent Valley student speaks: Save our school (and all the others!)

Bethany Smith, sixth form student

In my local area we are campaigning to save Pent Valley School from closure (as previously reported in the Socialist). However, Pent Valley is not the only school that needs saving.

By 2020 the government would like every UK school to become a free school or an academy. Is this the way we want education to end up?

Britain is in a 15,000 primary school place crisis. Is it not the case that in the next few years we will end up with a secondary school place crisis too?

The reason the government isn’t worried about children under the age of 18 not in full time education is because classrooms are overcrowded, schools are failing and closing down.

329 schools across the UK are registered as failing schools, however there are plenty of others that are failing unnoticed. The head of education at Kent County Council, Patrick Leeson, has noticed that the Folkestone Academy is dropping below its expectations.

However the council has allowed more and more students into the school. Do parents want to send their children to another school that is on the borderline of being a failing school?

There is a public Facebook page called ‘Folkestone Academy action group’ which is for parents and students to raise their problems within the school.


Parents whose children are currently at Pent Valley but have been allocated to the Folkestone Academy (if Pent Valley closes) have been told that their child must stop any extra-curricular activities when they are transferred as they will be in school until 5pm, four days a week.

It will cost £3.7 million to keep Pent Valley open until pupil numbers pick up. However we know numbers will increase as parents are still trying to send their children to Pent Valley, despite what is being said by the council.

On the other hand, it will cost £5.9 million to close the school and make teachers redundant. Why can’t they keep us open?

I think we need a referendum for the future of education. It shouldn’t just be the government’s choice, it’s my generation’s future children that this will effect.

We won’t have a choice but to send our children to schools and be taught by teachers that aren’t even qualified. This isn’t what we want for Britain; we need a radical solution to the situation.

I will continue to stand up for Pent Valley, but we need everyone to stand up too. Something needs to be done, and now is the time.